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MASON CITY, IA – Finding affordable housing is a challenge alone, and doing that search online could lead to trouble.
Somebody is posting false ads for rentals. They get victims to hand over personal information and even money.
Since then, more people have come forward to say their properties were being used as bait in these fake ads for rentals.
It’s something law enforcement says they’re trying to find answers for.
“So many of these things come from over seas. Nearly all of them are coming from overseas so what we do is we try to give people ideas, suggestions, on what they can do to protect themselves as much as possible from that,” said Lt. Ron Vande Weerd of the Mason City Police Department.
While Lt. Vande Weerd does say that the finding these criminals can be difficult since more often than not they’re dealing with people overseas, one easy tip could save you from being a victim.
“So many of these things come from over seas. Nearly all of them are coming from overseas so what we do is we try to give people ideas, suggestions, on what they can do to protect themselves as much as possible from that,” said Vande Weerd.
While he says he understands why sellers would want to have as much information available for potential buyers, he believes there is a much safer way of presenting it.
His tip, if you plan on putting vital information about your listing online, do so without putting details like your address or who owns the property.
Often times, identity thieves will look to use that material to pose as would-be sellers, making them very hard to spot.